Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

122 OUR TITLE TO [Chap. S. the godly judge their state worse than it is, the conse- quences of this mistake will be sorrowful; but the mischief flowing from the mistake of the ungodly is unspeakable. It will exceedingly confirm them in the service of Satan. It will render ineffectual the means that should da them good. It will keep a man from compassionating his own soul. It is a case of the greatest moment, where everlast- ing salvation or damnation is tobe determined. And if you mistake till death, you are undone for ever. Seeing, then, the danger is so great, what wise man would not follow the search of his heart both day and night, till he were assured of his safety ? Consider how small the labor of this duty is in comparison of that sorrow which followeth its neglect, You can endure to toil andsweat from year to year, to pre- vent poverty; and whynot spend a little time in self-exami- nation, to prevent eternal misery ? Byneglecting this duty you can scarce do Satan agreater pleasure, nor yourselves a greater injury. It is the granddesign of the devil, in all his temptations, to deceive you, andkeep you ignorant of your danger till you feel the everlasting flames; and will you join with him to deceive yourself? If you do this for him, you do the greatest part of his work. And bath he de- served so well of you, that you should assist him in such a design as your damnation ? The time is nigh, when God will search you. If it be but in this life by affliction, it will malre you wish that you had tried and judged yourselves, that you might have escaped the judgment of God. It was a terrible voice to Adam, " Where art thou ? Hast thou eaten of the tree?" And to Cain, " Where is thybrother ?" Men " consider not in their hearts, that I," saith the Lord, " remember all their wickedness; now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face." Consi- der also what would be the sweet effects of this self-exa- mination. If thou be upright and godly, it will lead thee straight toward assurance of God's love; if thou be not, though it will trouble thee at the present, yet it will tend to thy happiness, and at length lead thee to the assurance of that happiness. Is it not a desirable thing to know what shall befall us hereafter; especially what shall befall our souls; and what place and state we must be in for ever?And as thevery knowledge itself is desirable, howmuch greater will the comfort be of that certainty of salvation ! What